Old man from Bolivia - level 3

Old man from Bolivia - level 3

02-09-2013 06:00

Now, here's a man whose birthday candles must take a while to blow out.

This is Carmelo Flores Laura, an Aymara native living in a small hamlet, high in the Andes and who claims to be 123 years old. If that’s true then that makes the Bolivian the world's oldest living man. Carmelo, who says was born in 1890, has spent much of his life living in his tiny town. Being 4000 metres above sea level near the banks of Lake Titicaca he's passed all of that time pursuing a traditional existence and of course, chewing coca leaves.

With his sight failing, Carmelo now keeps himself healthy by taking walks around the village and enjoys watching the world drift by.

But, it will be tough to prove whether Carmelo is the world's oldest man, as birth certificates were not issued in Bolivia until 1940.

Carmelo has kept a baptism certificate that says he was born on July 16, 1890, but as it is not an official state document it isn't recognised by Guinness World Records.

Difficult words: hamlet (small village), pursue (follow), tough (hard), issue (published).

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